Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced the ‘FM Direct’ app to promote an interactive dialogue for the exchange of ideas within the foreign ministry. The digital launch event was attended online by over 60 Heads of Missions of Pakistan across different geographical and time zones.
“The ‘FM Direct APP’ is a new and evolved way of thinking, encapsulating the spirit of meritocracy and transparency within the Foreign Office through digital communication,” a Foreign Office statement said.
“The purpose of FM Direct is to involve all officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at the Headquarters and Missions abroad in an interactive dialogue for the exchange of ideas,” Mr. Qureshi said at the launching ceremony.
The app will allow officers of all grades and locations to reach out to the Foreign Minister and share their views independently and without any restriction, the FO said.
Mr. Qureshi clearly spelled out the app is not intended for complaints or asking for favors. “The app is not to be used to seek favors, nor is it a portal for backbiting or to register complaints,” he said. Qureshi added that the real objective of the FM Direct app is to promote fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.
“I foresee a very different post-pandemic world where innovative ideas would be the need of the hour,” FM Qureshi said. He added that it was at a time of great crisis that innovative, game-changing ideas have emerged throughout history.
Mr. Qureshi said that until now, it was not possible to connect with the officers and assess their performance using the conventional methods. The new app, he believes, will provide the ministry an opportunity to monitor, asses, and evaluate people in a more efficient manner while connecting them directly to the ministry high-ups.
The timing of the app’s launch amid the COVID-19 crisis is crucial, said the Foreign Office because the Foreign Minister believes in the critical importance of being as connected as possible to ensure multi-stakeholder coordination and dialogue.
The FM Direct app, developed by NADRA, will be regularly updated and improved in order to eventually replace other commercially available communication means in the Foreign Office, the statement read.
The launch of the FM Direct app is part of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s ‘Vision FO’ that was launched in December 2019 to ensure a vibrant and effective foreign policy to protect the political and economic interest of Pakistan.
A new Foreign Office website was also launched last year under the ‘Vision FO’ to help enhance accessibility and information base for the visitors.